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An office manager, who kept the books for Jemez Physical Therapy in Los Alamos, was indicted on embezzlement and tax fraud charges by a grand jury in Santa Fe Friday.
Rebecca Serrano, 46, of Espanola is accused of pilfering about $80,000 over a period of years from the practice at 2101 Trinity Dr.
Serrano faces four counts of embezzlement and four counts of tax evasion. Because she is accused of embezzling in excess of $20,000, the charges escalate to second-degree felonies. The four tax evasion charges lodged against Serrano are fourth-degree felonies.
Serrano will be arraigned on the embezzlement and tax fraud charges involving Jemez Physical Therapy on April 8 in Santa Fe District Court. She faces up to 60 years in prison and $60,000 in fines if convicted on all eight charges.
“It’s like someone pulled a thorn out of my heart and I feel good again,” said co-owner Kathy Hall after learning of Serrano’s indictment.
Hall explained how Serrano was able to get away with the alleged embezzlement for so long. “We let her get too close – we trusted her too much. I want to tell other business owners to never put themselves in that situation.”
Read the full story in the Tuesday edition of the Los Alamos Monitor.